Securing DASA Funding to demonstrate our Digital Decision Support Engine – “The Forge” – to the British Army with our SME partners

We are proud to announce that we have successfully gained a Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) award of £500K to develop a digital decision support tool called “Forge” for the British Army.  The 12-month project sponsored by Army Futures will integrate and then test our existing analytics platform, Hive 2.0 with ST Engineering Antycip’s simulation suite and Hadean’s distributed computing platform. The resulting system will demonstrate how Front-Line Commands can make improved, objectively derived choices at the speed-of-relevance through wargaming, rapid concept prototyping and experimentation; all for lower workforce and financial costs than the status-quo provides.

Over the past year, we have been working hard to develop an idea we have for getting to the root of complex problems, creating a concept for a novel digital decision support tool – “Forge”. Our aim is to reduce the time and resources needed to rationalise complex problems, to enable robust and repeatable experimentation on the issues that really matter and to demonstrably improve the evidence trail underpinning decision outcomes.

The Forge combines bespoke equipment, novel methods for data analytics and simulation, and a team of small, but talented companies working in collaboration to deliver a decision support engine that will help customers to address difficult challenges, develop clever ideas and ingenious solutions, and identify and plan the changes needed to secure advantage ‒ in a matter of a few weeks rather than several months.

We are incredibly excited as we have just been notified that our Forge idea is to receive funding from the Defence and Security Accelerator’s (DASA) “Simulating Future Battlespace Complexitychallenge and that we will be working with the British Army’s Headquarters’ Futures Team over the next year to further develop the Forge and bring it to fruition.

You don’t need to be a big company to have a big effect! We will be working with two other awesome SMEs: Hadean and ST Engineering Antycip to create this novel decision support engine for the British Army’s Concept and Capability decision-makers. Our three, innovative companies will work together to make this dream a reality and create this innovative and useful toolset.

What is the Forge?

The Forge will enable our customers to rapidly connect the dots between the challenge and the outcome, to test the art of the possible and to understand the implications of change in a complex environment. Capable of tackling problems and showing their systemic effect whether you start from a top-down, bottom-up or solution-led perspective, the Forge will help our customer to understand the key variables in a problem, identify the critical levers of a solution and to test them rapidly and iteratively, focusing experimentation on issues that are most likely to improve outcomes.

The Forge is underpinned by our proven data analytics engine, Hive and we are developing Data Science tools to accelerate refinement of the problem space, enable customers to quickly find the critical path through an issue, and start off asking the right questions (not just the ones we first thought of!). We are enhancing our analytics capability to reduce the time and resources required for Problem Rationalisation and get away from the “post-it note and string on the wall” approach that can result in a subjective set of debates and may not provide the objective clarity that these often emotional and complex tasks require. If a ‘de rigueur’ issue of the time is brought into the conversation, it is inevitable that this will skew the data. You can end up with time, money and people dedicated to the ‘wrong experimentation’ – costly, especially when that is live experimentation that takes a long time to set up, deliver and report.

We are also creating a novel User Interface to immerse our customers in the problem, make it easy to visualise the solution and clearly show the potential impacts of the changes that have been made or are needed to be made.

We are excited to be embarking on this project in collaboration with the British Army Headquarters. We are convinced that the Forge will help Army Futures Force Development make better informed choices about the way ahead at the “Speed of Relevance” (if decision making and experimentation takes too long, the issue that they were trying to resolve has long-since passed you by…) and will give senior decision makers the confidence in the choices that are made, and the impacts and effects of those changes downstream.